UK - Freeview set for HD channelsFriday, October 17th, 2008
TV viewers will be able to watch some of their favourite shows in stunning High Definition (HD) on Freeview by the end of next year
Ofcom has today announced its decision to reserve a Freeview slot for ITV – together with UTV, stv and Channel TV – and another slot for Channel 4 with S4C to broadcast HD programmes. It means that these public service broadcasters will join the BBC in being able to broadcast HD services on Freeview.
These HD services will be available on a region by region basis as the country switches over to digital TV. Viewers in the Granada region should be able to watch them from late 2009, followed by Wales, Scotland and the West Country in 2010. Viewers in Central, Yorkshire, Anglia and Meridian will be able to enjoy HD programmes on Freeview in 2011, while London, Tyne Tees and Ulster will get them by 2012.
To be able to view the new services viewers will need an HD Ready TV set and a new Freeview HD box.
We also believe a fourth HD service could be launched on Freeview by 2010. We expect to make an announcement on the process of awarding this fourth licence by the end of this year.
Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said: ‘This is a major step in the development of digital terrestrial television. ‘It will enable viewers to watch some of the very best programmes free to air in high definition through their television aerials.’